Arduino IC-Tester

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Introduction: Arduino IC-Tester

Quite some time ago I purchased an IC Tester from Genius. The G540 is able to programm various IC as it is able to test CMOS and TTL IC. Last option was quite interesting to me as this makes repairing stuff a lot easier when you know which part is defect instead of exchanging all part just by trial and error.

The programmer did a quite good job (some IC were not recognized) until I had to upgrade to Win7.

Here the programmer started to create troubles, the programmer was not recognized in some cases and the program froze during IC testing. After searching for alternatives I decided to make my own tester with some additional advantages.

So the result was a Arduino based IC-tester with an optional Serial output which does the job in most cases (still some room for improvement available).

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Step 1: Starting Situation

The original tester did a quite good job exept, that you had a lot of clicks (selecting the device etc.) before you could start, you allway needed to run the programm itself and most important:

there was no information about the testing result. If a IC was not found it was not possible to identify if it was not found due to being defect or due to a incorrect testing cycle (which appears to happen for some ICs).

So the idea was to overcome these disadvantages by develloping a tester of my own based on a Arduino Nano.

Step 2: The Circuit

The circuit is quite easy.

First of all there is the Arduino Nano. Due to the amount of available ports the maximum of pins to be tested is 16 (which is enough for most IC). To achieve this, the communication to the LCD display and to the EEPROM containing the test-data is done via I2C. The Nano takes over the communication to the computer to show the detailed test results.

The LCD-display is a simple standard 16x2 display including a I2C converter, thus needing only two pins of the arduino.

The test data is stored in a serial I2C EEPROM AT24C512. Here a script is stored which is tested step by step. For every type of IC a sequence of logical inputs to set and outputs to be expected. In case the outputs do not match the expectations, the script will jump to next possible part. In the current version the EEPROM needs to be programmed seperately via a programmer. I did not find a solution of transfering 25kbytes of data via the serial terminal.

The test script is in clear text so can be modified quite easily. The syntax is in the arduino sketch.

While testing multiple signals are set to the tested part which do not match the specification of the part (e.g. low is set as an input to a pin which acts as a high output) because all possible combinations are tested. To prevent overloading the Arduino and the part, all connections are done by 680 Ohms resistors. This creates a lot of "below the specifications" signals thus leading to random outputs of the tested IC. Still, if the IC maches to tested signals, the output of the tested IC is usable.

The test ist started with a single switch connected to one of the signle use analogue inputs.

Step 3: Having Fun

In the linked video the tester can be seen in operation.

Similar to the original the tester does not find all required IC. Some are a bit difficult in regard to what signals shoulb be expected. I will do some optimization as I find some spare time.

Step 4: EEPROM Upload Via the Tester

Someone asked me if it would be possible to upload the test-data to the EEPROM without having a programmer.

After some thought and some testing, I added some code to make this possible. The important aspekt of uploading the data via the Serial Monitor of Arduino is to set the baudrate to 1200! This will take some time to upload but it will prevent bytes from getting lost.

This should be done in the sketch as well as in the Serial Monitor.

If done, upload the sketch, open the Serial Monitor and wait until the options are given. Press "d" and press Enter. Now the tester is in upload mode.

Just paste in the full content of the test_16_full.dat and hit Enter. On the LCD the bytes are shown.

"done" at the LCD indicates succesfull upload.

2 People Made This Project!

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55 Discussions

0
TimL90
TimL90

Question 8 weeks ago

Hey, this is cool I’d like to make it.
Can I ask did anybody end up sharing an Eagle board or Gerber files to make a PCB?

0
milind.r
milind.r

2 months ago on Step 2

will this be useful to test operational amplifier ic's , universal gates?

0
ВасяВ4
ВасяВ4

5 months ago

Hello. Tell me which firmware to inject into at24c512b, and which into Arduino?

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 5 months ago

Hello,
I tried to explain this in the description. The .ino file goes into the arduino. The at24c512b in not programmed externally. In order to get the test data onto the at24c512b, the circuit needs to be connected to the computer via serial connection (1200 baud, this must be set in the .ino file aswell). By pressing "d" + return the arduino is set into upload modus. Then the .dat file must be opened and the content must be copied in into the serial terminal. By pressing return, the data is then stored into the at24c512b.
Hope this helps.

0
livekiron
livekiron

6 months ago

hello, how to ic dat files make all IC help me
IC= L293D,NE555,

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 5 months ago

Do I understand correctly that you are asking how to adopt the *.dat file to be able to test other ICs?
Unfortnately this is not possible with the simple circuit I chose. The circuit and the code are only able to create static logic signals and the test for them. No analog signals or functions can be tested.

0
HmingaK
HmingaK

Question 6 months ago

is this analoge tester or digitel ic tester

0
JorBi
JorBi

Answer 6 months ago

this tester is only for CMOS and TTL logic ICs

0
GiorgioB16
GiorgioB16

8 months ago

With integrated 16-pin ok. Does not work with 14-pin integrated. can someone help me ? Thank you

0
TejasR7
TejasR7

1 year ago

Someone Send The LiquidCrystal_I2C Folder So That I Can Compile This Code Without Getting The Error of "Positive Was Not Declared in this scope"

0
COMBOTHC
COMBOTHC

Reply 8 months ago

hi did you solve the problem? I don't know what to do with it

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 1 year ago

Hi TejasR7,
that seems to be a reoccuring problem. There are many different libaries available and it even seem to matter how they were installed. Please see the hint of wkozey in the comment history. Probably this helps. Other hintgs are given in the Arduino forum.
Regards.

0
sahilmore13285
sahilmore13285

1 year ago

After Compiling And Uploading the Code To The sketch.What process Should be done in Serial monitor?

0
sahilmore13285
sahilmore13285

Reply 1 year ago

After pressing 'v' in the dialogue box we are not getting the statement verbose mode is on. What's the issue?

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Sahilmore13285,
that is a bit difficult to say from here. The serial monitor should be set to the appropriate baud rate (normally 9600 or 1200 when in upload modus) and should be set to "NL" better "CR and NL". The "v" should be confirmed with pressing return.
Hope this helps.

0
sahilmore13285
sahilmore13285

Reply 1 year ago

How to upload the eeprom data in sketch and serial monitor...plss explain stepwise

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 11 months ago

Hi sahilmore13285,
It would be helpfull to know where you are stuck. Did you change the baudrate to 1200? Did you set the communication via the serial monitor to "CR and NL", etc? If you have some addional information for me, probably I am able to help. To be honest; there are no more stepts than described in the instructables.

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Sahilmore13285,
in the serial monitor you can observe the test patterns applied to the chip. So, in case you have a chip which is not found, you can look have a look at the test pattern on the serial monitor to identify why the chip was not identified. For this, you have to type in "v" first.
Regards

0
thorbehrens
thorbehrens

Question 1 year ago

I build the ttl-tester using a romeo-board. but now I've the problem, that the serial-window doesn't accept any keyboard-inputs (like 'd' for the download-mode in v0.7). What's going wrong.
Yout project ist a great job!!! I'm a teacher an have to test hundred of ttls. Thank yout!

0
JorBi
JorBi

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Thorbehrens,
The program expects a CR and NL at the end of any inputs via the serial monitor. This can be set in the lower right corner of the serial monitor. This might be the problem. The baudrate might be a problem aswell, but I assume this is correct, as I imply that you can read the messages.
If both topics are not the issue, that some debugging in the code might be necessary. I help is required, please send me a message, I will then try to help.
Regards,
Joris